Malaysia's Anwar declares support for Mahathir

Malaysia's Anwar declares support for Mahathir
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, at a press conference in a Kuala Lumpur hotel on 6 May 2013.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Malaysia's jailed opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has declared support for arch nemesis Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his efforts to pressure Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to resign.

"I support the position of friends in civil society, political parties and individuals including Tun Dr Mahathir, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and others to build up strength and understanding together as articulated by the leader of the opposition recently," he he said in a message from prison on Thursday (March 3).

"This understanding will focus on the demand for Najib to resign as Prime Minister as he has clearly failed to lead this nation," he said.

Anwar is currently serving a five-year jail term for sodomy.

The former deputy prime minister, who was sacked from Umno by Dr Mahathir in 1998 and later jailed for sodomy, said it was time for the people to stand together and to set aside personal vendettas.

"We must together chart a new way forward to save our beloved nation," he said.

Anwar also said the call for change also necessitated reforms in key institutions within the country.

He called for the rights of the people to be returned through free and fair elections, and independent judiciary, free media, and economic policies that are refocused on fresh economic growth.

"We have also learned from history that meaningful transition of power cannot happen only with a change of leadership but it also demands a systemic change," he added.

Dr Mahathir had recently proposed the setting up of a core group to remove Mr Najib, with some members of the opposition saying they were ready to work with the former premier.

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